NY Democrats Sued over Restrictive New Gun Law

A Republican congressional candidate in New York has announced plans to sue the state’s Democratic governor and legislature over a restrictive new gun control law passed last week.

Carl Paladino, a businessman vying to represent New York’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives, says the law recently passed by the state legislature is “twice as bad” as the gun law struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

The law, which was signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on July 1, prohibits gun owners from carrying their firearms in locations deemed “sensitive,” such as schools, churches, libraries and protests.

The new restrictions also require applicants seeking concealed carry permits to submit their social media accounts for a review of their “character and conduct” — a measure Paladino maintains is a clear violation of the First Amendment, as well as a bureaucratic nightmare in waiting.

“Can you imagine how the licensing entity could possibly investigate all that for the millions of gun owners that we have in the state of New York? Can you imagine the actual implementation of such ridiculousness? And they want you to disclose who your family members are,” Paladino said. “And they basically want to deprive you of your First Amendment right to free speech.”

Paladino, who is reportedly funding the lawsuit himself, also said he hopes to file the suit in federal court by the beginning of next week.

The new gun law was passed by New York’s state legislature just weeks after the Supreme Court struck down a separate state law which had placed strict restrictions on concealed carry permits in New York. In a 6-3 ruling, the court maintained that the law was an unconstitutional violation of New York citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a ‘second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.

Critics of New York’s new gun control measure argue that the law is similarly unconstitutional. “I don’t think we would do that,” said Peter Kehoe, the executive director of the New York Sheriffs’ Association, about the social media review for concealed carry applicants.

“I think it would be a constitutional invasion of privacy.”